Workplace Accidents – Most Common Ones, Some Causes, and How to Reduce Them

Ensuring safety in the workplace is one of the topmost priorities of responsible employers. However, one of the prominent challenges organizations face is workplace accidents – they jeopardize worker safety, violate OSHA regulations, lower employee morale, and can significant issues down the line.

There are various types of workplace accidents – let’s take a look at what exactly they are, the common ones, their causes, and how an OSHA recordkeeping application can help reduce them.

What is an accident in the workplace?

It is as simple as it sounds – accidents in the workplace are unwanted and uncontrolled events that have either short-term or long-term negative effects on the injured worker’s health. These not only harm the affected worker but have other consequences, some of them are:

  • Higher employee turnover
  • Lower employee morale
  • Higher costs
  • Disruption in operations
  • OSHA violations
  • Affected goodwill

What are the most common workplace accidents?

There are many types of workplace accidents that organizations and Safety professionals must prevent – let’s take a look at the most common ones.

Vehicular crashes or collisions

These don’t necessarily only occur in the transportation industry, as almost all industries employ vehicles for different purposes nowadays. Roads and transportation are uncontrollable factors and can cause accidents – inclement weather, slippery roads, loss of the vehicle’s control, etc. 

Ensure that your drivers are trained well and abide by the laws and regulations at all times.

training sessions must include the do’s and don’ts drivers must do during common emergency cases on the road.

Injury by heavy machinery

There are always risks associated with heavy machinery when workers operate them or are around them, and not just stationery equipment. Forklifts, cranes, tractors, etc. can also cause accidents if they are not properly handled.

Heavy machinery used in construction, transportation, manufacturing, and energy plants need steady and careful handling, otherwise, these can cause significant workplace injuries. For instance, body parts might get stuck in such machinery, and the consequences are devastating for everyone involved. 

Ensure that proper training is provided to workers so that they can properly and safely handle the equipment. Moreover, restrict access to heavy machinery that can cause accidents – only allow authorized personnel to access them.

Slips/trips/falls

The most common type of workplace accidents can happen within any organization – starting from seemingly harmless firms that have no safety risks, to construction firms that have safety risks all around. Some of the most common culprits that cause slips are wet or slippery floors due to chemicals, water, lubricants, etc., debris, unorganized materials, and so on. Moreover, no railings on staircases, unstable platforms, etc. can lead to falls. 

One of the best ways to prevent such cases is by cleaning up the locations as soon as these scenarios are detected, and if doing this is not possible, then the area must be highlighted by placing signs to attract attention. Ensure that platforms are stable, there are railings on staircases, and an ample amount of safeguards are in place to prevent workplace accidents. 

Getting struck by objects

Another quite common workplace accident is getting struck by objects (especially falling), and these occur when workers are hit by falling debris, materials, etc. For instance, in buildings under construction, debris or materials are very prone to fall on someone who’s standing below. 

 

Providing employees with protective gear like helmets and ensuring that protective measures are in place can drastically reduce such incidents. For instance, using building safety nets around the foundation can block debris that might otherwise fall on workers. 

Common causes of workplace accidents

While we have already touched upon some of the reasons why common workplace injuries occur, those are specific to the accidents explained. Some of the common causes that lead to workplace injuries are as follows.

Not providing proper PPE

There are many cases where organizations don’t provide ample PPE to their employees – leading to workplace injuries. Responsible employers always provide their employees with proper protective equipment to deal with workplace safety issues that might be present.

Lack of proper lighting

Whenever there’s poor lighting, workers have limited vision and cannot see the dangers lurking. For instance, if there are exposed or messy cables on the floor, workers might trip over them, leading to minor or even devastating injuries, depending on the scenario. 

Heavy lifting

In heavy-duty industries, workers are required to perform lifting of heavy materials, and in many cases, they can lead to a number of injuries if sufficient breaks are not provided. For instance, repeatedly performing such tasks without any breather in-between can cause immense physical strain, leading to unwanted injuries, illnesses, or other consequences down the road. 

Exhaustion

Somewhat related to the previous point, when workers engage in heavy lifting and manual labor continuously, these can cause them to tire out and might lead to a workplace injury. Ensure that your workers are getting proper breaks whenever they are required to perform physical labor. 

Stress

One of the common causes that lead to workplace injuries is stress. It can lead your employees to be emotionally, physiologically, or mentally invested in somewhere else during work. These distractions can lead to workplace injuries. 

Ensure that your employees are engaged with their work, provide them a balanced work-life, and, more crucially, don’t overwork them!

CloudApper Safety can reduce workplace injuries

CloudApper Safety is an OSHA recordkeeping application that helps organizations streamline OSHA compliance, reduce the administrative burden, and boost the bottom line. It can be used right from smartphones, making it more convenient than ever before.

It helps organizations conduct internal audits and determine workplace injury hotspots based on injury-prone zones, helping them come up with corrective actions to prevent further injuries. Moreover, it enables employees to share the best workplace safety practices with their colleagues right from their smartphones, helping promote workplace safety all around.